Spoke Magazine

Thomson Elite Dropper Post – Initial’ish impressions

Posted by Leif Roy on Monday July 22 2013

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The words Thomson and Elite on a seatpost used to be on every second bike, but the advent of the height adjustable post put a stop to that. Thomson hope to reverse the trend with the Elite Dropper.

Like a bunch of you I’ve been waiting for Thomson to enter the dropper market for a while now. Why? Well I’m curious to see whether they can replicate the impressive quality and attention to detail that their standard seat posts and stems have become renowned for. We’ll give a full run down on whether we think they have in a future issue of the magazine. But in the meantime here are my initial’ish impressions after set up and a couple of rides.

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Production, finishing and play are as you would expect from Thomson, second to none.

Unfortunately setup didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. Despite being reasonably handy with a wrench I found myself scratching my head, confused, on a number of occasions. The instructions were not that clear or accurate. The stock cable housing length was perfect for my bike but the cable itself wasn’t long enough which meant I had to cut about 25mm off of the housing. There were more parts than I needed and there wasn’t any explanation as to what the spare parts were for. Finally, and probably most significantly, whenever I pressed the lever to activate the post the cable would slip past the tiny grub screw “securing” it. This, of course, resulted in a non-functioning dropper post and fair amount of cursing.

Concerned that I was either; a total muppet, or would eventually damage something, we rang the distributor and they let us know that yes there had been a few teething issues (http://bikethomson.com/dropper-notes/) but that these should be resolved going forward. With that sorted and the dropper functioning as intended I was finally able to get out for a few rides.

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The lever, a perfect exercise in understated design.

Initial ride impressions are pretty positive. The post feels solid and well put together. There is currently no discernible side to side play. The lever position seems logical (although is different from my standard post so took a little getting used to) and is comfortable to operate. Thomson suggest that you can modulate the speed of the post by how far you depress the lever. However I can’t imagine that many people are going to have the dexterity needed to do so when trail riding. untitled-9532

Time will tell though and in truth it probably isn’t an issue as speed of the post when the lever is fully depressed seems pretty spot on. The little plastic widget that traps/guides the cable in the seat post area appears to be doing a good job and is a tidy little solution. I’m not sure I’m ever going to use the height markings that are printed on the moving part of the post as it’s near impossible to read them while riding and besides who sets there dropper post height before riding off? No-one, that’s the beauty of a dropper post.

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That little grub screw gave us grief at setup time, we have it dialed now, but it had us doubting out mechanical ability’s (just for a little bit)

So, initial impressions haven’t all been rosy, but with the dropper set up and operating properly I am actually pretty pleased with it. Hopefully it continues to perform well and proves to be durable. Stay tuned.

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Like all good posts, the Thomson is infinitely adjustable and stays exactly where you put it.

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And it goes up… Not to sure what the O ring is for though…

Image Gallery (14 Photos)

  • 26r for life

    Dropper posts??? What next? 650b? Hahahahahahaha it’ll never catch on

    • http://www.spokemagazine.com Caleb Smith

      bored of Bali already?

  • Trekman

    I had the same issue with the grub screw when I fitted my post to my bike. I found that the end of the grub screw was hitting on the radius of the cable hole which meant that it had bottomed out but still left a big enough gap for the cable to pull through. In the end I just filed a taper on the end of the grub screw (very carefully with a points file) until the grub screw would fit properly. Then I refitted the cable and it has all been good since. A slightly longer cable may have been handy but it still works great and looks good.